Manager Post Alloa AthleticWednesday, 29th Jun 2016
29/06/16: AJ - "The boys have been working really hard in pre season, it is just about getting their match sharpness over the coming weeks.
Allan Johnston gave his thoughts after the 1-1 draw in the pre season played at Alloa Athletic`s Indodrill Stadium.
"I thought they passed it quite well to start with then we changed the shape a wee bit and we came back into the game. We maybe played in front of them a bit too much in the first half which sometimes happens when you have a target man.
"With Gavin Reilly missing we probably missed that bit of pace. We slightly changed the way we played with the big trialist upfront. Gavin`s back was a wee bit stiff yesterday and there was no point in risking him for a pre season game, especially on AstroTurf. It is more important that he is fit for the rest of the season."
Alloa took the lead through Jamie Longworth in 38th minute. The manager commented:-
"We were in a really good position defensively when the cross came in. We should probably have dealt with it better. It got cleared and they got a bit of fortune where the ball ends up.
"The boys responded really well by going up the park. Ryan Williamson put in an incredible cross with a really good bit of skill to get past his man. The big striker finished off really well.
"I thought second half was more like us. We controlled it and were more of a threat going forward. We had a right few chances, so in the second that was more like us."
Wholesale changes were made with six substitutions made on the 65th minute mark. AJ added:-
"I thought Lewis Spence and Rhys McCabe did really well, look at young Callum who came on up front - he is only sixteen but he put in a really good performance and was unlucky not to score.
"There were a lot of positives there but we are just disappointed that we never won. We are looking to win games, we had a few chances especially in the second half but we need to improve on our first half performance because some of that was not good enough."
So what did the match tell the gaffer about the team he started on the night?
"I thought they did alright. Obviously a good work out for them - it is only the second game. Obviously on Saturday the boys played 45 minutes. They have just built it up to 60 odd minutes and now hopefully they will get a few 90 minutes under their belt as well. Whether it is trialists or first team players we need to make sure that they are ready for the season ahead."
The squad is not complete yet and the manager maintains that he is still on the look out for another two or three players.
"They are taking their time, and we are taking our time, because it is important that you get the right type in, you don`t just want to sign anyone. We are trying to get as good a quality as we can. These things take time but hopefully we can do that over the coming weeks."
There will be three more friendlies before the Betfred Cup kicks off the competitive season. The manager is very conscious of the frequency of the matches over a short period of time:-
"It is important that we are ready. The boys have been working really hard in pre season, it is just about getting their match sharpness over the coming weeks.
"We don`t play the first Saturday but then we have four games in twelve days. I don`t understand why we need to squeeze them all in but we are not part of the decision making. It is a risk for players getting injured - that is the problem when you have really small squads and expected to play so many competitive games at this time in the season."
The league is the priority but Allan Johnston wants to do well in the cups as well. He feels that the new style competition might benefit from an increase in the number of substitutes allowed in these matches.
"I think it would help the managers and players because when you can only make three substitutions the players need to be ready to play ninety minutes and that is a big ask at this time in the season. They are a different tempo from friendlies, there is a big crowd there and obviously results matter."